How a Wife or Husband's Chemical Abuse May Change Your Dissolution Strategy

Speak to a Nearby Dissolution Lawyer

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Millions of Americans struggle with substance addiction, including things like the use of liquor, illegal drugs, and prescription substances. Often, those who are combating substance addiction can create major issues within their own households, that may lead to divorce. If you are divorcing a spouse with a drug addiction, you should be aware of the way this trouble could influence custody of your children and assets division. This short article explains how a spouse's drug abuse may affect your process throughout a dissolution.

Applying for Divorce Based upon Substance Abuse

Today, all American states allow husband or wives to file for a marital dissolution based upon no-fault premises, like separation or "irreconcilable differences," indicating you and your husband or wife can not co-habitate any further. By having a no-fault divorce, you do not need to prove that your husband or wife did something to bring about the separation.

In most states, however, in some states, including Texas and New York, you may still file for divorce based upon wrongdoing grounds, like infidelity, bad actions, and substance or alcohol abuse. In the states that still enable these accusatory divorces, you will always have the ability to request a divorce based on your spouse's addiction.

Even in the states where you can just apply for a no-fault divorce, like California and Florida, you may still present proof of your spouse's addiction throughout the case as it might relate to custody and other troubles in the dissolution.

The sober husband or wife typically has the advantage in discussions and sometimes is able to acquire a favorable settlement without having to openly try the case in court.

How Addiction Affects Custody Of Your Children



One particular area in which chemical abuse factors in greatly is child custody. While modest alcohol consumption probably will not impact a custody determination, judges will carefully consider any addiction problem that affects parenting capability. For the most part, a parent with a drug abuse issue is much less likely to win child custody.

Courts have a variety of solutions to secure youngsters from a mother or father's drug abuse problems during visitation periods. The judge might order that there be no overnight visiting. The court might also obligate an expert to monitor all visitation periods. Courts frequently mandate that addicted mother or fathers undergo regular drug and alcohol tests, participate in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous sessions, or get substance addiction treatment. Custody orders often obligate parents to refrain from usage of alcohol or illegal or controlled substances in advance of and during visitation.

In extreme cases, a judge could award full custody of children to the sober parent, with the addicted mother or father having no visitation whatsoever. In cases where the addicted mom or dad has triggered severe damage to a youngster as a result of chemical abuse, a judge could terminate that father or mother's custodial rights altogether.

How Addiction Affects the Division of Assets

In numerous states, courts won't consider fault when splitting up a marital estate (everything a couple owns with each other), but in some places, a husband or wife's habits throughout the marriage is relevant to the division of property. In these states, the judge will take into account a wife or husband's drug dependence when evaluating how much of the mutual assets each spouse should be given.

A judge could choose to grant a bigger share of the marital estate to the sober spouse, especially if the addicted wife or husband's chemical abuse problems adversely affected the married couple's financial circumstances. For instance, if the addicted mom or dad used a sizable quantity of the marriage savings on alcohol and drugs, a court could award the sober wife or husband a larger share of the couple's assets as a kind of reimbursement.

How addiction Impacts Spousal support

Much like how substance abuse impacts assets division, drug addiction is more than likely to affect alimony when an addicted wife or husband has actually hurt the couple's financial circumstances. In many jurisdictions, a judge could choose to give increased alimony to the spouse of an addict if the addict emptied the couple's finances feeding the substance addiction.

In some relatively uncommon cases, a sober wife or husband can be obligated to pay spousal support to an addicted husband or wife. If a husband or wife's drug substance addiction has actually resulted in a mental disorder obligating institutionalization, the sober spouse could be obligated to pay for the costs of treatment not covered by disability benefits.

How Addiction Impacts Negotiating a Dissolution Agreement

If your husband or wife has a history of substance addiction issues, she or he will normally be at a detriment in a number of aspects of the divorce. Courts take chemical abuse problems very seriously, and there may be stiff consequences in a divorce case for an addicted husband or wife, particularly when it concerns custody of the children.

Public allegations of substance addiction problems might hurt that husband or wife's reputation, profession, or perhaps lead to criminal charges. Because of this, the sober wife or husband usually has an advantage in negotiations and many times has the ability to obtain a beneficial settlement without needing to publicly try the case in court.

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